Big Data to improve the quality of life in the favelas

Crowd Analytics solutions response to ensure quality urban planning

Logo Success Story Worldbank

Thanks to Big Data for Social Good, LUCA has been able to provide vital insights on the movement of people in the area of São Paulo to ensure quality urban planning for the whole city


Business insights Crowd Analytics


Public Administrations



About the World Bank

Since 1947, the World Bank has funded over 12,000 development projects in every major area of development to help countries find solutions to the challenges they face. In Brazil they have completed projects to help farmers access affordable technologies, ensure the protection of indigenous languages in the Amazon and sustainably manage urbanization and climate change. Brazil’s economic and social progress lifted 29 million people out of poverty between 2003 and 2014 but there are still many social issues left to resolve. Improving the governments planning capacities can ensure the proper maintenance of existing infrastructure and investment in new infrastructure to develop their cities sustainably. The World Bank funds their projects via traditional loans, interest free credits and grants.

The Story of the Project

LUCA has collaborated with the World Bank and the University of São Paulo to ensure quality urban planning for the whole city. In our Smart Steps analysis, we looked at a total of 2 months of data at municipality level for the metropolitan area of São Paulo and at an intermunicipal level for the 96 districts of the city of São Paulo. In the district of Vila Andrade, we divided the geographical area between Paraisópolis itself and the rest of the district.

Our objective was to create an Origin-Destination (OD) matrix of trips between Paraisópolis and these other areas of the city, using anonymized and aggregated mobile event data to understand how people move around according to the day of the week and the time of the day, as well as providing insights on their demographic profile and the purpose of their journey. In these areas where there is difficulty in access and a lack of security it has always been a challenge to gather information, especially in communities suffering from poverty and crime. Big Data overcomes this barrier, providing quality data that allows informed urban planning for the whole city.

The results

We highlight the main results obtained


Short term results: Unprecedented insights into how people move in and around cities


Medium term results: A better understanding of the unique demands for urban mobility in Paraisópolis.


Long term results: Insights for better urban planning strategy that can improve the quality of life for residents of the community.


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